Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Beautiful Heart

“I hope Harry is there next time we come.  I really like him, “ Kaya said as we were walking out of the lobby of the continuing care center yesterday.

I remember the first time we went to visit the seniors at the nursing home.  Knowing that Kaya is usually timid and reserved in new situations, I wondered if she would stand at the edge of the room or linger at the fish tank instead of mingling with the white-haired residents.

On that first visit, Kaya just blew me away with the way she instantly felt at ease.  She flitted like a butterfly from person to person, saying hello and conversing with everyone.  She brought plenty of smiles and sometimes teary eyes to those she visited.

Yesterday, during our regular monthly visit to the senior center, the staff had set out a craft and a few boxes containing “state bingo” and “spring bingo”.  As we were playing, a staff member wheeled an elderly gentleman next to me.  Harry sat hunched in his wheelchair and his curled fingers had to work hard to move the bottle-cap markers to the various spaces on his bingo cards, but he did it. He didn’t speak, but would communicate with vocalizations and a nod of the head and a smile.

After Kaya finished her craft, she came over to play bingo and I asked if she would want to sit on the other side of Harry and help him look over his card and point out where he needed to put his markers.

When we go to visit the elderly, we come across all sorts of people.  Some of them are very coherent while some are in differing stages of dementia. Some can carry on a conversation and some cannot.  Some can walk, though most rely on a walker or a wheel chair to get from place to place.

While I wondered how Kaya would react to Harry, it was easy to see from her smile that she took to him right away.

She didn’t see his crooked body or hazy eyes.  She didn’t wrinkle up her nose when Harry would occasionally drool and dab it up with the white hanky clenched in his right hand. It didn’t matter to her that he made guttural noises instead of conversation.

Kaya saw beyond all of that.

She saw a person who, while he couldn’t say so in words, beamed with pure joy when he was told he did in fact have a tulip or a chick on his bingo card. 

She saw someone who was worthy of friendship, worthy of a smile and a gentle touch.

She saw someone worth loving, and she did just that.

So today I am taking part in Brooke’s One Beautiful Thing and sharing one of the most beautiful moments of my week.

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Our Kaya Jade with her beautiful heart; how blessed we are to have her in our lives.